Cubs Convention kicks off tonight


Cubs Convention kicks off tonight

Last year's Cubs Convention had a definite buzz around it, being the first in the tenure of Theo Epstein and the rebuilt front office.
And then, of course, there was the Kerry Wood announcement at the Opening Ceremonies.
While this year certainly isn't a repeat of 2012, there is still plenty to be excited about for the 2013 Convention.
First and foremost, there's the new location -- Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. And with that comes more space for the droves of Cubs fans to flock through.
And there will be more than 75 people affiliated with the Cubs -- from prospects to current and former players to front office staff to broadcasters -- just itching to get things kicked off.
"It's really cool," outfielder Tony Campana, who enjoyed his first Cubs Convention last year, said Thursday on the Cubs Caravan. "I didn't really know what to expect last year, so there's a couple times where I went through the lobby of the hotel, and you're strolling along to the elevator and then you wind up signing autographs for 20 minutes.
"It's cool how much the fans show up and show their support. It makes it a good time. It's almost like the Convention is new again, because we're at a different place, so I don't really know how different it's gonna be."
Several newcomers will join the festivities this weekend, including TV analyst Jim Deshaies, top prospect Javier Baez and big free agent acquisition Edwin Jackson.
Comcast SportsNet and will air the Opening Ceremonies tonight, beginning at 5 p.m. You can check the stream out here.
Make CubsTalk your destination for news and notes from the 2013 Cubs Convention, and be sure to check out SportsNet Central every night this weekend, beginning at 6:30 p.m. for one-on-one interviews and updates from the Sheraton. And follow @CubsTalkCSN as well as Insider Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) for more insight.
For a complete listing of the schedule of events, check out

Recruiting news and notes: Solorio's Patterson adds Northwestern offer

Recruiting news and notes: Solorio's Patterson adds Northwestern offer

Solorio junior quarterback Quincy Patterson (6-foot-3, 220 pounds) added his fifth scholarship offer on Monday from Northwestern. Patterson, a three-star recruit, also took in the Wildcats' game last Saturday against Nebraska.

"Northwestern is a beautiful school and has anything that a student-athlete can really ask for," Patterson said. "Northwestern has a great coaching staff and an extremely high graduation rate. Both of those factors are very important to me and my family. It means a lot to me that Northwestern is so strong academically plus having great coaches. Northwestern offered me as a super-back recruit."

Patterson now has offers from Northwestern along with Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico and Penn State.

Brother Rice senior running back Xazavian Valladay (6-feet, 190 pounds) has set up his first official visit.

"I'm planning to go out to make an official visit to Wyoming on October 8," Valladay said. "I'm still in touch with Wyoming along with Western Illinois, Ball State, Central Michigan plus Eastern Illinois and Youngstown State. I want to get out and see some schools in person before I make a college decision."

Valladay currently has scholarship offers from Wyoming and Western Illinois.

Palatine senior quarterback Zach Oles (5-foot-11, 200 pounds) is off to another great this season for the Pirates, and Oles has been drawing steady recruiting interest this fall.

"I've been in touch with schools like Butler, Dayton plus North Dakota State, NIU, Princeton along with several (other) Ivy League schools," Oles said. "I'm going to visit Dayton on October 8 and then I'm planning to go visit a game at Butler on October 22."

Does Oles have a time frame for making a college decision? "I'm not in any hurry to make a college choice. My focus right now is on my team and my season. I also want to take a few official visits after the season."

Peoria senior defensive tackle Kendrick Green (6-foot-4, 270 pounds) made his first official visit this past weekend to Minnesota.

"It (Minnesota) was awesome," Green, a three-star recruit, said. "They (Minnesota) are definitely on top now."

Green, who named the Gophers along with Syracuse and Central Florida as his top schools, is also planning to visit both Syracuse and UCF before making his college choice.

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